We are pausing our usual featured marque segment this month for a rather special Q&A. 2020 has been an unusual year for many, not least a gentleman who lives in Lapland and relies on horsepower of the red-nosed variety.
So, here it is – we sat down with Santa for a mince pie and a glass of sherry – we hope children (and big kids) will enjoy this as much as we enjoyed meeting the man for whom this time of year is the busiest.
Santa, thank you so much for taking the time out of your very busy schedule to talk to Lockton. We have so many questions, but we've managed to pick a few that we've just got to know the answers to – so here goes!
What's your favourite car?
Well, this might surprise you all but apart from my trusty sleigh, my favourite car isn't a car at all – it's a big red lorry that a famous soft drinks company let me borrow every year. It's my favourite because for so many, the sight of that big red truck and hearing that “holidays are coming” makes them happy and excited – and in 2020, that's needed more than ever I think.
How fast does your sleigh go?
Oh that's a good one. Lots of very clever scientists have spent a long time trying to work that one out, based on how many houses I have to visit every year in so many countries around the world. It doesn't have a speedometer but I do know that it's faster than the fastest sports car – and it doesn't need to be challenged by a well-known car blogger either…you just have to believe in a little bit of magic.
Do you take the sleigh to a garage to be fixed?
Goodness no! When it comes to my sleigh, I can only trust people who know how sleighs work. It's a bit like the way Lockton work really – they don't make their customers take their car to a particular place to be repaired, but let them choose their own trusted place instead. I use the elves when it comes to the sleigh. Not only are they very good at making toys but also fixing things that are broken. They aren't very good with modern cars as they can't understand all those computers but they make sure that my sleigh is always ready to go on Christmas Eve, every year.
Would you ever switch the sleigh to electric power?
Never! Reindeer are very environmentally friendly (as long as they don't eat sprouts) and very renewable as when they retire, their children take over. Plus, I don't need to stop every few hundred miles to plug them in – it would make my trips take far too long and I wouldn't want to miss anyone.
How has 2020 been for you and everyone in Lapland?
Like everyone else, I've found 2020 to be a strange year and the Father Christmases around the world who help me at shopping centres and school fairs have had to do things differently too as they've not been able to talk to all the children like they usually do.
Getting the elves to socially distance has also been a challenge as theyare naturally a) naughty and b) love their cuddles. I've had to work extra hard to make sure that we all stay on track for our big day. We never stop smiling here and it is a wonderful way to keep your spirits up, even if things are a little odd at the moment.
Has everyone made the nice list this year?
As everyone's worked so hard to keep each other safe this year, I think almost everyone will be on the nice list. There's still a few weeks left yet so I need everyone to keep being good please!
How will you deliver presents to houses which might be in lockdown or isolation this Christmas?
That's a very good question. For any children (or indeed adults) who might be worried about this, my secret involves a pinch of magic dust, everyone still believing in Christmas and making sure that children are tucked up in bed and fast asleep really early on Christmas Eve so I can safely leave them something special.
Some anti-bac spray and disposable gloves would probably be helpful too!
Finally some rapid fire questions;
Favourite Christmas song?
“Well, we just call them 'songs' but I do rather like Mr Springsteen's one about me coming to town”
Strangest gift you've ever delivered?
“I once helped deliver a new baby early one Christmas morning – does that count?”
Favourite form of motorsport?
“It has to be snowmobile racing – although I can't watch when the elves are around as it would give them rather dangerous ideas”
Tea or coffee?
“Neither I'm afraid, although coffee would be a better way to stay awake than sherry I suspect”
And finally, favourite Christmas movie?
“Oh that's easy – it has to be Die Hard (as it IS a Christmas movie, even if we just call them 'movies' up here”)
Santa, thank you so, so much for your time and even more so for finally confirming that Bruce Willis's escapades at Nakatomi Plaza are a Christmas movie – because Santa never lies and his word on all things Christmas is final….
We hope you enjoyed that and you get extra bonus points if you read some of the answers out loud to your children in your best Santa voice.
It therefore remains only for all of us at Lockton to wish you all a very peaceful Christmas and let us hope that 2021 brings with it some much needed positivity. Thank you all for your custom, your support and your patience.